UK Solar Power Feed In Tariffs Delivering

Rooftop solar energy systems are driving uptake of the UK government’s pilot solar feed-in tariff scheme, according to a report into the first six months of the policy.

The feed-in tariffs were introduced as a key part of the country’s strategy to battle climate change and meet the EU targets of producing 15% of the country’s energy from renewable sources by 2020.

The report, by renewable energy company Ownenergy found that in the first six months of the scheme, 32 megawatts (MW) of a first year 100 MW solar capacity has been installed, a figure it said was in line with forecasts.

Actual installations exceeded that figure due to registration delays on new systems, the report said.

The UK feed-in tariff model applies to solar energy systems up to 5MW in capacity, and would deliver an average 8 percent rate of return in some sectors.

Philip Wolfe, Ownenergy chairman and architect of the feed-in tariffs scheme in his former role as Director-General of the Renewable Energy Association, said:

“The scheme is delivering exactly what it was meant to do in terms of a rapid increase in the number of installations, creation of jobs and increase in the amount of renewable energy generated in this country which has historically been pitifully low.”

Mr Wolfe warned the British government that pre-emptive cuts to the feed-in tariff legislation would hurt the burgeoning UK solar energy industry.

“It is apparent that the scheme has a long way to go before we are in the enviable position of having to consider dampening enthusiasm through lower tariff rates as is happening in some countries in Continental Europe,” he said.

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